One of the simplest performance and load tests that can be performed on any web server is to measure the response time of a static HTTP GET request. If you measure how this response time degrades as more parallel connections issue the same request, you can get a basic understanding of the performance and scalability of a web server.
Anyone who's worked with Apache long enough is probably familiar with ab, the load generator/benchmarking tool which is so wide-spread. This is a sad state of affairs as 'ab' is extremely flawed. I don't want to repeat it's flaws here, as Scott Oaks has done an excellent job of summarizing them.
Another tool that is also popular is http_load,[Read more...]